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Plans for a massive research hospital in Dallas anticipates need for child healthcare

Hospital Design Trends

Plans for a massive research hospital in Dallas anticipates need for child healthcare

HKS, Perkins&Will, McCarthy, and J.T. Vaughn are part of the project’s design and building team.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | February 14, 2024
Aerial rendering of new pediatric hospital and campus. Image:
A 2-million-sf children's hospital will be part of a 33-plus-acre healthcare campus. Images: Children's Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center

Children’s Health and the UT Southwestern Medical Center have unveiled their plans for a new $5 billion pediatric health campus and research hospital on more than 33 acres within Dallas’ Southwestern Medical District. 

The campus, whose construction is expected to begin in the second half of this year and take six or seven years to complete, will serve as a hub for innovation, academic research and training, and technological development.

At nearly 2 million sf, the new hospital will house 552 beds, which will increase the inpatient capacity at Children’s Health by 38 percent. The hospital will also have 15 percent more emergency department (ED) space and 22 percent more operating room space, plus square footage for future expansion.

The facility will include a Level I pediatric trauma center with 90 ED exam rooms and 24 observation rooms. A new fetal care center will provide the region’s most advanced and accessible services for complex maternal and fetal health care.

Additional features include two helicopter pads, and a connector bridge between the new campus and UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.  A new outpatient building on campus will add 96 exam rooms to the 344 that will continue to operate at the existing Children’s Health Specialty Center Dallas.

All told, the project will entail 4.5 million sf of construction. A joint venture between McCarthy Building Companies and J.T. Vaughn Construction will serve as the project’s construction manager. HKS and Perkins&Will will serve as the design team. Other AEC firms on the project include GSR|Andrade Architects and subcontractor Post L Group.

Research hospital campus addresses market’s population growth

Dallas campus will include several research buildings
The new campus will serve as a hub for innovation, research, and technology.

The new pediatric center is a response to the Dallas-Fort Worth market’s increasing demand for healthcare. UT Southwestern cited estimates that by 2025, the region will be home to 8.5 million people, about 500,000 more than in 2023. There are currently about 2.5 million children in the region, a number that’s expected to surpass 3 million by 2032, and to double by 2050.

“The Children’s Health team and the physicians from UT Southwestern who work at Children’s Health are just incredible, compassionate caregivers,” said Rachel Knox, Partner and Leader of HKS’s Health practice. “We’re creating a facility that not only matches that level of care but will allow them to enhance it.”

Ian Sinnett, Health Principal for P&W’s Dallas studio, and the project’s planning director, added “This hospital will be a gamechanger for children and their families all across Texas—and for the incredible care staff committed to their healing journeys.”

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